Where Are the Children- Oswaldo Vargas

How to Tell a Border Story

I want to live long enough to see the one-year-old in immigration court write a poem. To see the child string words together, drag along the floor, and hang up for others to see its collected colors. You’ll find them filling in irrigation ditches, to water the X for their parents’ doves to find. A border story that the soil can follow. We weren’t trained for when the sirens blare but we’ll still take our seats, an audience to the receding tide and their once-childish eyes honing in on the machine that numbered them.


Two things drove this poem: the awful story of the one-year-old who appeared in Immigration court, and the words of poet Yosimar Reyes. He speaks often about immigrant narratives and the importance of being able to tell one’s own story with all its nuances. So I imagined this child one say writing a poem with the relentless power of a wave.

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